The Dominion Post

Telcos both claim biggest networks

- TOM PULLAR-STRECKER

SPARK has decided not to file a complaint about Vodafone’s claim that it has the largest 4G network and has instead hit back with its own billboards making the same boast.

However, Vodafone is now threatenin­g legal action of its own.

Spark’s marketing move means both Vodafone and Spark are now claiming to have the widest 4G coverage.

Spark said shortly before Christmas that it was on the verge of laying complaints with the Commerce Commission and the Advertisin­g Standards Authority over its rival’s claim, which it believed might breach the Fair Trading Act.

Spokesman Andrew Pirie said Vodafone had had a head start, which it had ‘‘milked for a year’’, but Spark believed it had overtaken or was on the point of overtaking Vodafone.

Vodafone consumer director Matt Williams said it did not believe Spark had the largest 4G network and it was not sure it could substantia­te its claim under the Fair Trading Act. ‘‘Our lawyers are writing to Spark to ask them to provide evidence of their claim.’’

Spark spokeswoma­n Lucy Fullarton said its billboards had been erected on Victoria St and at the Downtown Shopping Centre in Auckland. Spark offered 4G in 70 places covering two-thirds of the population, Fullarton said. Vodafone was claiming before Christmas that it had 63 per cent population-coverage.

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